Just weeks after the Blue Wave in November, House Dems unveiled their top priority for 2019: H.R. 1. And just last week, the bill passed the House, moving on to the Senate.
H.R.1, the For The People Act, aims to put power back in the hands of the American people by expanding voting rights, strengthening ethics rules, and limiting both gerrymandering and the influence of money in politics.
While H.R. 1 received major attention, H.R. 4 is also critically important. H.R. 4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act, would restore the protections of the Voting Rights Act, addressing today’s challenges of systemic voter suppression in states across the country.
These bills are high priorities for the Democratic House, and they should be for us as well. We need to loudly and consistently support both bills on their path through Congress.
This week’s Tiny Action: Read up on H.R. 1 and H.R. 4, spread the message,
and be sure your Members of Congress know why this is a priority issue for you.
- Learn about H.R. 1 and H.R. 4 and what they mean for your vote.
- Tell your elected representatives why you strongly support both bills in full.
- Be sure your friends and family know why this matters, and how they can help hold Congress accountable during the March recess next week.
- H.R. 1 Would Fix – and Protect – Democracy in the U.S. (USNews)
- House passes HR 1 government overhaul, sending it back to campaign trail (Roll Call)
- This Is the Worst Voter Suppression We’ve Seen in the Modern Era (Brennan Center for Justice)
- The battle over the voting booth is just beginning (CNN)
- Mitch McConnell, Enemy of the Vote (Rolling Stone)
- Democrats Introduce Plan To Bring Power Back To The Voting Rights Act (HuffPo)
- For a more perfect union, Restore the Voting Rights Act (The Hill, by Rep. Terri Sewell)
- ‘We should be outraged’: Alabama congresswoman tackles voter suppression (The Guardian)
- Pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act Now (Human Rights Council)
League of Women Voters on Voting Rights (LWV)
2. Tell your representative and senators why you strongly support both bills, in full.
Congress goes on recess after this week, so please call ASAP, or be sure to include your full name and voting address when leaving a voicemail to be sure your opinion is counted.
- First, see how your rep voted on H.R. 1, and check if they are cosponsoring H.R. 4.
Then call your representative (and your senators):
Hello. I am a constituent who votes in [CITY, STATE], but I currently live in [CITY, COUNTRY]. I'm calling in support of H.R. 1, the For the People Act, and H.R. 4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act... Find the full script here.
3. Be sure your friends and family know why this matters, and how they can help hold Congress accountable during the March recess next week.
While you may not be able to join a Town Hall or other event during the Congressional recess, your friends and family in the States can.
- Talk to friends and family about why voting rights are so important, and why they are rights that we must fight for.
- Consider posting a link to this tiny action on social media, or share one of the news stories mentioned above to start a conversation. It may seem small, but the more people are aware of this issue, the more we can push for progress.
- Share info about events online and with those in the US. Indivisible’s events map is a good place to start. You might even be able to find someone to hold up a sign or ask a question to represent you as a concerned American abroad!
WHY IT MATTERS
Without a functional democracy in which everyone is included and represented, we can’t achieve any of our other priorities. All the issues we care about deeply — including health care, immigration, national security and foreign relations, racial justice, climate change — require a democracy that works for the people, not the powerful and wealthy.
We continue to see systemic, deliberate attempts to erode our democracy. Both H.R. 1 and H.R. 4 would put in place dramatic steps to begin to address these issues immediately.
Speaker McConnell has said that making Election Day a Federal holiday is a “power grab” by Democrats. When more Americans can vote, the only ones gaining back power will be the American people. But it is true that he knows what we know — when more people vote, Democrats win.
Republicans are against these bills simply because they know that they can’t get elected by running fairly. They rely on voter disenfranchisement and disengagement and the backing of special interest groups. They also know what would happen if presidential candidates were required to release their tax returns, which is also included in H.R. 1.
They will fight these bills, first by blocking them and then by watering them down until they lose their strength. We must push hard on this issue, and we need your help.
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